#Opinion Article by a Reader
#14th of January, 2022
A lot of on-the-ground work for Communism is all about dispelling rumours, held prejudices in the heads of people about Marxism. The neighbourhood where I do most of my political and mass work in generally has the benefit of this not being an issue — the school here is much too underfunded, leading to young people being mostly devoid of anti-Communist propaganda. With people who grew up earlier, during the «Cold War», it is often different. But, as long as they are not reactionaries, they will recognize that, as revolutionary Socialists, what we fight for is progressive (whether they support this is a different question, of course). That's the beauty of Communism — as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (its founders) said:
The communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.
Communism is not just a form of society that we fight for — a society without classes, patriarchy, or State, where everyone gives according to their abilities and gets what they need – it is also the theory and practice of the proletariat (that is, the working class) conquering the world and achieving that new, communist world, informed by centuries of struggles and theoreticians like Marx, Lenin, and Mao (to just name the most important). And that theory has nothing to do with the dogmatic, reactionary, backward shit this society tries to force feed us on a day to day basis — at least not for people who are serious about it.
But not everyone is serious about Communism, not everyone is honest about breaking with not just exploitation, but with old ideas, too. As my title suggests, I want to write some words about something that may be a fringe topic, the topic of queer-antagonism (hating people who deviate from this society's gender roles, such as gay or trans people).
«Rassenstandpunkt: The Ideological Decay of Dogmatism» is a reference to an article posted on an internet blog called «ci-ic.org» called The Ideological Decay of Imperialism. This «article» is written by a German magazine which mislabels itself communists and even maoist that calls itself Klassenstandpunkt (meaning Class Standpoint). Klassenstandpunkt (or, as I call it here, Rassenstandpunkt, Race Standpoint) is nothing but a mouthpiece for the political line of a transphobic, racist, and Greater-German nationalist sect in Germany — the so-called «Committee Red Flag».
In this article — which was originally published a couple of days ago and then quickly taken down, only to be reposted today — we can read the following paragraph:
Today, with identity politics, a woman is defined by whether she moves, dresses, and wears makeup like a woman. A transsexual man who claims to be a woman is celebrated as a woman, because he is «feminine» and moves, dresses, and wears makeup like a woman. This has negated the whole struggle for women's liberation of the last decades, thus plays a retarding role in the women's movement.
One thing's for certain: this is the opposite of rupturing with all traditional ideas. Additionally, this is of course in blatant opposition to the Marxist standpoint on the women's and queer questions — that is, proletarian feminism. The work, Marxism, Mariategui, and the Women's Movement, that was co-authored by Comrade Norah and Chairman Gonzalo (two of Peru's most important Communists of all time) we can read the actual understanding of what man and woman is:
To Marxism, women, just like men, are nothing but a set of social relations, which are created and change as a result of the historical process of development of society, and which, in turn, serve to change these social relations. Women, then, are products of society, and their transformation demands the transformation of society.
But these people's argument not only blatantly contradicts Marxism — it also, as a result, is ahistorical and abstract. The article from the «Committee Red Flag» revisionists (a revisionist is a false Communist who negates the principles of Marxism, in short, an opportunist disguised as a Marxist) insinuates that transgenderness is a product of the generalized counter-revolutionary offensive, which began in the late 1970s and which has intensified since the collapse of the Russo-East German bloc (that was socialist in name, but imperialist in deeds) in 1989-91.
If you're now thinking: «Hey, wait a minute, haven't trans people existed before the 1970s?», then you would of course be right — transgender people in particular and queer people in general have existed across all modes of production and in all sorts of different nations and peoples since the dawn of humanity, as the document Marxism and Queer Emancipation by the Red Star group proves much better than I ever could.
While it may seem that ci-ic.org let the cat out of the bag regarding the queer-antagonism of the «Committee Red Flag», that is not actually the case. Revolutionaries in Switzerland have time and time again exposed the outright genocidal views of these revisionists on the queer question, in various documents published since the summer of 2021. In Down With the Politics of Social-Imperialism! Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!, a polemic originally written with the intention of the Swiss Communists constructively criticizing and extending an olive branch to the «Committee Red Flag» chauvinists (which I personally, at least with hindsight, think they didn't deserve in the first place), we can read the following characterization:
And, finally, there is the point of queer-antagonism, in particular trans-antagonism, which was expressed to an extreme degree against comrades in our organization. We understand that the queer question is a new question, left unsolved by Marxism until this point, and that the views of the Committee Red Flag on this question are also shared by others in the international Communist movement. For this reason, we have elaborated our standpoint on this question in a separate document, which is distributed alongside this criticism. In this criticism, we will thus focus, not on the general analysis and synthesis of the queer question on the basis of Gonzalo's Thought, but rather on the specific ways in which this kind of patriarchal chauvinism was applied by the German comrades in their work abroad in Switzerland. What are the standpoints of the Committee Red Flag on the queer question? Since there is no public document on this question by the German comrades, we will summarize our understanding of the standpoints of the Committee Red Flag in a few points:
- The existence of LGBT+ people is viewed as a product of patriarchal oppression within class society, in particular, imperialist society. LGBT+ people are viewed as individuals who choose to live in a certain way, because they could not bear the responsibilities that come with fulfilling a certain role in patriarchy. In this way, LGBT+ people are degenerated elements, made to degenerate by patriarchy, and being LGBT+ is alien to the proletariat.
- It is a democratic right to be LGBT+, but Communists are not allowed to be, since they must be the vanguard of the proletariat, and the class is not LGBT+. In this way, being LGBT+ is viewed as similar to being religious.
- Since LGBT+ people are alien or degenerated elements to the class, the class and the masses do not like or respect them. Therefore, those comrades who have posts of responsibility cannot be allowed to be LGBT+, since the masses will not follow them.
- Transgender people have capitulated in the face of combating patriarchy and instead chosen «the easy way out», an individualist solution, so as not to be oppressed by patriarchy or having to oppress others within patriarchy. However, they cannot change their biological sex, and, as such, they end up ruining their bodies and become degenerated elements alien to the class.
- Marriage in front of the Party or the New State is between one man and one woman, since that is the proletarian conception of romantic relationships. LGBT+ relationships are cultural degenerations alien to the proletariat.
- There is no special «queer oppression» within patriarchy, only the exploitation and oppression of women and the pressure on men to oppress women.
This standpoint was expressed toward our comrades in many different ways, and mainly towards a transgender comrade. She was told that she couldn't lead, since the masses would not respect her; she was told she was an individualist, because she would not sleep and shower together with the male comrades at a summer camp; internally, she and other transgender comrades were misgendered behind their backs, and even had new cover names of the wrong gender made up for them; a remark was made that she was «ruining her body» by taking estrogen; a remark was made that her relationship amounted to «just being gay [in the male sense] with extra steps»; she was consistently referred to as male by the German comrades; and so on. Another transgender comrade experienced a similar attitude from the German comrades, for example, being criticized for doing a toast to proletarian feminism at a comradeship or told not to shout slogans at a 25th of November demonstration in Hamburg.
We completely disagree with the standpoint and attitude of the Committee Red Flag on the queer question. We will address the six points above:
- LGBT+ people exist across every mode of production and every nation, people, and tribe in the world. They are viewed and treated differently according to the content and form of each society. There is a biological, genetic basis for being LGBT+, and whether/how one chooses to live as LGBT+ depends on the concrete conditions of society. Many proletarians and masses are LGBT+. In imperialist patriarchy, LGBT+ people are oppressed, which makes them «queer».
- Queer people are a trench in the mass struggle. They have their specific democratic demands, such as combating discrimination, fighting for the right to marry and adopt, fighting for the right to free medicine for transitioning, and so on. Communists can be queer, and the Communist Parties and organizations must open their ranks to queer comrades and ban discrimination and harassment of such comrades.
- The masses do not disrespect or hate queer people. Progressive masses support them, Centrist masses accept them, and even backward masses accept them if they know them personally. It is only the most reactionary elements and the lumpen who hate or disrespect queer people. By taking up the view that «the masses would not be led by queer people», the Committee Red Flag is tailing the most reactionary factions of the masses.
- Transgender people have a medical condition, which creates an antagonistic contradiction between their psychological view of themselves (which is physically located in the body map of the brain, or Homunculus) and their physical body, on the basis of which a contradiction to social gender roles is also established. Since ideas can be turned into material reality through practice, it is possible to change one's sex and gender roles (philosophically speaking). With hormones and/or surgery, it is possible to change one's secondary sexual characteristics (fat distribution, hair growth, voice, breasts, bone growth, and so on) completely, and even parts of one's primary sexual characteristics (genitals, chromosomes). Of these, the secondary sexual characteristics determine what role one occupies in society. For this reason, transgender people materially become their desired gender when they transition, and it is gender metaphysics to suggest otherwise.
- LGBT+ marriages have existed since primitive society and were always an established institution within the queer section of the proletariat. The purpose of proletarian marriage is not having children, but serving the revolution and communism. Thus, queer people must be allowed to marry in front of the Party and the New State.
- Patriarchy has two aspects: the exploitation and oppression of women, and the oppression of queer people. Queer people are those who diverge qualitatively from the patriarchal roles of man and woman. The pressure men face to be oppressors is not relevant in this regard, since it is only based on quantitative divergence.
Regarding the attitude of the Committee Red Flag toward queer comrades, we can see that it springs from these erroneous standpoints. But these standpoints do not correspond to the ideology of the proletariat, and they do not correspond to the actual views of the masses. They only serve to tail the most backward factions of the masses, and, for this reason, the class character is lumpen.
This is not all, however. Swiss revolutionaries have since then revealed more information about the reactionary standpoints of the «Committee Red Flag» revisionists, such as the following:
Here, it should also be noted that the standpoint of at least one member of the Committee Red Flag (who used to be responsible for their international) is to compare trans people to objects: «[Thinking you can change your gender] is metaphysics. Look at this cup. Can it turn into a stone?», as well as outright genocidal views: «It [being transgender] is so degenerated. In Brazil, you would and will have to spend a couple of years in a labour camp for this.» Their «assistant responsible» for their work in Switzerland said: «It [being transgender] is not even a question in Peru. They get stoned to death.» Of course, this implies that people's war requires murdering queer people and that this should be the Committee Red Flag's standpoint on the question.
Until now, this information has generally not been taken seriously by people (especially so called «Internet Communists», some of them even being queer themselves) who still have an unfounded faith in the «Committee Red Flag» (due to never having met them, and only having seen their posts on the Internet) and their «New United International Organization» they have been building up (I have to admit that I don't really see how an «international organization» or «conference» can be «united», if it excludes Communist Parties actually waging revolutionary wars in India and in the Philippines today, as well as parties concretely preparing them, such as the Communist Party of Burma and the Maoist Communist Party of Turkey and North Kurdistan, but that's a different topic for another day).
It is my hope that with this ugly performance of self-exposure by these dogmato-revisionists — who are merely putting a new «Communist» price-tag on the long expired and rotting reactionary ideas of old — wavering colleagues and friends across the world revolutionary movement will now find themselves forced to pick the correct side in this important struggle between two lines — the Red, working-class line and the White, capitalist one.
As for idiots now claiming that this article must somehow be an expression of «the line of the international Communist movement», as ci-ic.org published it (please don't laugh!) I would like to respond only with a quotation from the Communist Party of China:
Concerning the preparation and convening of an international meeting and its composition, we have repeatedly said that it is necessary to achieve unanimity of views through consultation among all the fraternal parties, including the old ones and those rebuilt or newly founded. Otherwise, no matter what drafting committee or international meeting you convene, it will be illegal.
There is an old joke between communists and socialist revolutionaries that revisionist figures such as Dühring or Kautsky are today only remembered because Marx, Engels and Lenin completely demolished them. The reason this joke is funny is because it's true. The same will be the case with these mistaken ideas and the sectarian clowns representing them – their traditional, backwards ideas are no exception to the rule, they will be ruptured with, and both queer-antagonism and the «Committee Red Flag» will only be remembered as footnotes, as things that were overcome, as negative examples.